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April 25, 2000, Burnaby-“Prince George School Trustees (District 57) are gambling with the public purse by taking money targeted for todays education programs and building trust accounts for future pet projects.” said Barry ONeill, President of CUPE BC.

The President of BCs largest union expressed shock but not surprise that District 57s trustees, led by provincial political hopeful Shirley Bond, “thinks nothing of cutting at least 40 jobs. “Jobs” says ONeill, “which support the most vulnerable students in the system.”

“Furthermore,” said ONeill, “I am not surprised that the chair of the Prince George Parent Advisory Council finds that the cuts “strike a balance”. This woman represents the point of view of the privileged. Like others in her position I expect to hear her suggest that the jobs and services cut can be replaced by volunteers and free charity services while tax dollars are used to ensure that the privileged are well taken care of.”

CUPE has called upon the provincial government time after time to look into the way in which school boards manipulate dollars, programs and peoples lives. “But”, said ONeill, “neither MLA Paul Ramsey, nor his cabinet colleagues have been prepared to bring about the serious changes required.”

“Where is the provincial governments legislative power when those who are truly responsible for disrupting the lives of children and workers are running rampant.” said ONeill.

Louise Leclair, Communications representative,
(604) 291-1940

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